仁者自爱 – Chinese philosophy and culture

rénzhězì’ài 仁者自爱

A Man of Benevolence Cherishes Himself.

有仁德的人珍爱自己。这是孔子(前551—前479)的学生颜回提出的命题,为“仁者爱人”提供了主体性原点。依照儒家的逻辑,仁者必“自爱”,而后推己及人,达到“爱人”,也因此必然赢得他人的爱,形成人我之间爱的循环。此外,古来提倡“自爱”者不少,未必限于儒家,其意不是要人自私自利,而是要人自尊自立,为国为民有所作为。

This concept was first raised by Yan Hui, one of Confucius’ (551-479 BC) disciples. He provided a subjective source for benevolence. According to the Confucian School, a man of benevolence is sure to cherish himself and then extend his love to others. In return, he is sure to win love from others. This is reciprocal. Many people advocated this concept since then, though they might not necessarily belong to the Confucian School. The essential idea is that one should not be selfish but should have self-respect and be self-reliant, doing his best to serve the people and the country.

引例 Citations:

◎子曰:“回,知者若何?仁者若何?”颜渊对曰:“知者自知,仁者自爱。”子曰:“可谓明君子矣。”(《荀子·子道》)

(孔子说:“颜回,明智的人是怎样的?仁德的人是怎样的?”颜渊回答说:“明智的人有自知之明,仁德的人能自尊自爱。”孔子说:“这种人可以称之为贤明的君子了。”)

Confucius asked Yan Hui: “What is the wise man like and what is the man of great virtue like?” Yan Hui replied: “A wise man knows his own ability, and a man of virtue upholds dignity and cherishes himself.” Confucius said: “Such people deserve the name of sagacious men.” (Xunzi)

◎人必其自爱也,然后人爱诸;人必其自敬也,然后人敬诸。(扬雄《法言·君子》)

(人一定要做到爱自己,别人才会爱重他;一定要做到自敬,别人才会礼敬他。)

Only when one cherishes himself will others hold him in esteem. Only when one respects himself will others revere him. (Yang Xiong: Exemplary Sayings)

◎盖为士者知其身必达,故自爱重而不肯为非。(洪迈《容斋随笔》卷九“高科得人”)

(读书人知道自己肯定会有通达的一天,因此非常自爱,不肯做坏事。)

A scholar knows that he is sure to succeed one day, therefore he is scrupulous in words and deeds and will do nothing harmful to others. (Hong Mai: Notes by Rongzhai)

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